For the list of the other 2014 Gatorade State Football POYs, click here
THE WINNER: Darrell Henderson
School: South Panola (Batesville, Miss.)
Position: Running back
Weight: 190 pounds
Athletic achievement: He has led the Tigers to a 14-0 record and a berth in the Class 6A state championship game against Hattiesburg (Miss.) Oak Grove, scheduled for Dec. 6. At the time of his selection, Henderson had rushed for 2,057 yards and 28 touchdowns on 269 carries. A preseason Clarion Ledger Dandy Dozen selection, he ran for 214 yards and two scores in the 2012 Class 6A state title game. Entering his week’s title game, his career production stood at 5,605 rushing yards and 64 touchdowns.
Academic excellence: Henderson has maintained a B average and represents one of the state’s top academic candidates in meeting the Gatorade award’s broad criteria.
Exemplary character: He has volunteered locally at a nursing home, as part of an area beautification project and on behalf of a literacy-outreach program.
“Darrell Henderson is the key to the South Panola offense, and he seems to play his best in the biggest games and at the biggest times,” said Roger Burton, assistant coach of West Point. “He is super-fast and elusive and has great size—a perfect South Panola Tiger tailback.”
THE FUTURE: Henderson remains undecided upon a collegiate destination